Cast – Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma
Directed by – Imtiaz Ali
Produced by – Gauri Khan
Written by – Imtiaz Ali
Background score – Hitesh Sonik
Music – Pritam
Cinematography – K.U. Mohanan
Edited by – Aarti Bajaj
Production House – Red Chillies Entertainment
Running time – 2 hours 24 minute
Genre – Romance, Comedy
It has been almost two years. Since Dilwale. Also since the last time I had to force myself to sit through a movie for the sake of reviewing it.
Jab Harry Met Sejal had built up a considerable buzz, particularly from those who have come to equate SRK-Anushka with sizzling chemistry, stunning visuals, and at least the semblance of a plot (this is where you’re meant to recall flashes of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Jab Tak Hai Jaan). But you know what they say – higher the expectation, greater the fall.
Jab Harry Met Sejal is one disaster both SRK and Anushka could have done without.
The Imtiaz Ali flick that hit the theatres today gave me a long time – nearly 2 hours and 24 minutes – in the cool confines of a dark air-conditioned auditorium to figure out why I should not have gotten my hopes up.
- It has been at least 4 years since SRK – a superstar in denial about his age and capacity to dole out winners – has given us a wholesome entertainer. But Dil Toh Pagal Hai and we hope against hope that SRK still has it in him to give us more DDLG style romance, more ‘Punjabi woos Indian beauty on a trip across Europe’ flicks. No matter how lined his face is and how old the tabloids tell us SRK is, we continue to set our expectations high. Right?
- Imtiaz Ali comes with memories of Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal, and Rockstar but Imtiaz Ali also comes with the “misunderstood” Tamasha, Cocktail, and Highway.
- Anushka Sharma is indeed brilliant. And the prospect of watching her as the Gujarati English sprouting Sejal is indeed tempting. But Anushka alone is not even remotely capable of keeping the audience glued through a film. Had it been otherwise, her last home production would not have vanished without a “glimmer”.
Wisdom in retrospect! Having figured out all the reasons why I should not have been excited this morning, let me get down to dissecting my disappointment.
The Plot That Never Was
The film starts with Harry (Shah RukhKhan) a European tour guide seeing off a group of Gujaratis who were on a tour. Sejal (Anushka Sharma), one of the members of the group refuses to leave and stays back to search for her engagement ring which she has misplaced. She starts to retrace her steps with Harry’s help. And then we wait. For Harry and Sejal to fall in love, for sparks to fly as the couple travels through some of the most beautiful locales in Europe. But apart from a few funny scenes we sit through long inane conversations and come to the conclusion where Sejal dumps her fiancé and Harry gives up Europe to be with the love of his life (Sejal, duh!). I’m still trying to figure out the Hows and the Whys of this plot.
What’s Good, What’s Bad?
Let’s start with the Good because the list is a very short one.
- In a film that is a huge let down, cinematographer K.U. Mohanan shines out, having captured the breathtaking beauty of some European cities through his lenses. This is perhaps the best that Jab Harry Met Sejal has to offer.
- Anushka alone manages to elicit some laughs in the first half of what would have otherwise been an intolerable movie. Coming to the second half not even our heroine can save the film from descending into a mess.
- Of the 17 numbers (yes, you heard it right) listed in the audio release of Jab Harry Met Sejal, Radha (sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and Shahid Maliya) is likely to stick to you. The rest of the songs are not even worth remembering. Composer Pritam has tried and that is the best we can say.
And now let’s get to what the movie lacks –
- A plot (that’s the first thing a director looks for when deciding to take on a movie)
- A director (Imtiaz Ali doesn’t count; he seems to have been fast asleep through the production)
- An editor (snip, snip)
- Some logic, or humour, or romance, or just about anything to keep the audience from walking out…
You must ask yourself the all-important question before you decide to book your tickets to Jab Harry Met Sejal –
Are you a die-hard SRK fan?
If you answered in the affirmative, we suggest you give this flick a miss, tough as it may sound. It is better to go through life with the glory of your idol intact than to walk out of the theatre embarrassed and disgruntled after watching this flick.
If you’re not, save yourself the time and the money. You may perhaps want to start saving for a real Europe tour. And pray you don’t run into SRK while you’re in Prague or Budapest.
Rating – 1 ½ *